A popular blog truncated its RSS feeds to boost site pageviews. It’s like last week, when The Atlantic changed to partial-content RSS feeds. And that was like every other week, when some publisher did something that some readers didn’t like to make a few more cents.
I dislike the intrusive advertising on Salon, so I don’t read Salon. I dislike Michael Arrington, so I never read anything on TechCrunch (even when they write about me or my products) and have taken technical measures to ensure that I never even land there accidentally and give them whatever tiny profit that one pageview is worth. I don’t like the timebombed, Unicode-breaking Clickability print-friendly view for New York Magazine, since I like reading NYMag-length pieces in Instapaper and Clickability doesn’t work well in it, so I just don’t read NYMag’s articles. I don’t like Ars Technica’s paginated articles, but since I don’t want to pay for a subscription, I just read every page separately, give them all of their separate-page ad views, and save each page to Instapaper if I want to read them that way.
One reaction I’ve never had is to think that I deserve anything from these publishers.
- Valid point: [Publisher] should consider doing it some other way because this will alienate some readers.
- Invalid point: [Publisher] should do it my way because all content deserves to be free/ad-free/full-RSS/single-page.
I see a staggering amount of entitlement every day in the form of arguments and blog posts like the latter.
We don’t deserve anything. Publishers can do whatever they want. If you don’t like it, don’t send them nasty emails or browse their sites with ad-blockers: just don’t support them. Don’t read their content, don’t link to them, and don’t talk about them. Since money’s not usually involved, vote with your attention and read elsewhere.